The Aquatic Solar Farm

Solar power may be clean and green and very efficient in terms of space requirements when it comes to rooftop solar energy systems; but major solar farms require large tracts of land. Addressing this issue is Israel-based Solaris Synergy’s Floating Concentrating Photovoltaic (F-CPV) system.
 
Featuring a modular design, the F-CPV system can be tailored to produce anything from a few kilowatts of electricity to many megawatts. 
 
Made from plastic and fibreglass, the platform can also significantly reduce evaporation and growth of algae – an aspect that may be of particular interest to Australian farmers as the system could be installed in farm dams.
 
The concept was a winner at Israel’s I national Cleantech Open IDEAS competition late last year,
 
According to a press release from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the solar panels used have a curved mirrored film that focuses sunlight into a thin line; meaning that less silicon is needed to be used for each module. 
  
However, this focused sunlight also means increased heat – an enemy of silicon based photovoltaics – so the Solaris Synergy team have patented an evaporative cooling system that utilizes the water source beneath. The “cold silicon” approach means the system can achieve conversion efficiencies of around 20% says co-founder and CEO Yossi Fisher
 
A solar tracking system is incorporated into the aquatic solar farm to maximise the amount of electricity produced. A small engine slowly rotates the system to ensure the light stays focused on the line of silicon material. 
 
Mr. Fisher says if F-CPV systems were installed at all Israel’s recycled wastewater reservoirs, the country could achieve its goal of generating 10-20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
 
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Solar farms in Australia